If you are curious about horseshoes or wonder about taking care of your horses in terms of horseshoes, you will find your answer in the content below. Let’s take a look at it.
If you have ever watched horse races or seen the horses being trained in riding halls, you will know the trotting noise which comes from the horseshoes. Horseshoes are made from metal and will be nailed into the horses’ hooves. So, why do horses need to wear horseshoes? Are horseshoes painful? Does it hurt horses to put shoes on them? Let’s find out in the following parts. See also what to wear to a horse race?
Table of Contents
- Does Shoeing A Horse Hurt Them?
- How Often Do Horses Need New Shoes?
- How Much Are Good Horseshoes?
- New Balance Horseshoes
- Frequently Asked Questions
Why Do Horses Need Horseshoes?
Horses are usually used for riding, driving, or other similar activities, which require sturdy hooves for contact with rough surfaces. However, horses’ natural hooves can be damaged in case of meeting a lot with the uneven or concrete ground. If the hooves are hurt, the horse will be painful, and it might be lame, which makes it unusable. That is why people often say, “no hoof, no horse.”
Horseshoes are created to protect and support horses to perform their functions well. Horseshoes will protect the hooves from being hurt by hard flooring, also help to keep balance and absorb shock when the horses are ridden. In general, horseshoes are essential for horses’ health.
Who Puts Horseshoes On Horses?
The person who is responsible for putting horseshoes on horses is called a farrier (sometimes Ferrier). The farrier is involved in equine hoof care, including preparing and trimming hooves, shoeing, observing, assessing, and making sure that the horseshoes fit well.
The Process Of Shoeing A Horse
The process starts with the farrier’s observance of the horse’s movements. The farrier will watch for the balance and comfort of the horse when moving.
Next, the farrier will clean the hooves. Any mud, dirt, and unevenness under the hooves will be removed to ensure the shoeing process goes smoothly. You can also do the clean part first before your farrier comes as scheduled.
After the hooves are clean, the farrier will remove the old shoes, and then the hooves will be trimmed and reshaped its underside. The farrier may pause to watch and assess the hooves several times.
Next, when the farrier is satisfied with the hooves, the horseshoes will be placed into the hooves, and the nails will be inserted and filed off. Finally, the farrier can watch the horse move several steps to make sure that everything is ok.
Normally the process of shoeing a hoof can take up to five minutes. This is a painless process apart from several exceptions, which will be provided for in the following part.
Does Shoeing A Horse Hurt Them?
Many people worry that putting horseshoes on the hooves will cause pain to horses, as the process will involve trimming hooves, replacing shoes, or inserting nails. However, shoeing a horse really does not hurt them as there are no nerves in the outer wall of the horse’s hooves. The feelings when the farrier places nails into such a part are quite similar to our feelings when we cut out our fingernails. Thus, the horse will not show any pain or aggression.
However, there are some exceptions that can impact the horses and make them feel bad. Let’s take a look at the following cases for avoiding.
The horse has bruises on the hooves.
The horses that have been ridden on rough surfaces without horseshoes can have bruises under their hooves. For such horses, the process of cleaning and shoeing can be painful as the hooves can be sore and swollen. You can avoid this situation by arranging the appointment with the farrier in time so that the horse has horseshoes before being ridden.
The nail is driven too deep.
This can happen when the farrier does not have much experience in their work. When such a farrier performs their role, the nail can be accidentally driven too deep into the horse’s hoof. This is extremely hurtful, and the horse will react immediately.
“Hot nail” is the term used for the nail in such a situation. The feelings can be compared to yours when someone drives a nail into your skin below the fingernail. The flesh under a horse’s hoof is really sensitive, and thus, it hurts the horse terribly when you let the nail come through its flesh. So, you will need to find an experienced and well-trained farrier to do the shoeing part for your horse, as an experienced one will know how to perform the part properly.
The horseshoe does not fit
If the horseshoe is too small or too large, it might cause problems for the horse. Furthermore, if the horseshoe is not compatible with the hoof, it can possibly crack the hoof and make the horse painful. Thus, you need to keep an eye on the shape and form when choosing the horseshoe. Please note that different horses can have differently-shaped hooves, and the back hooves can be a little different from the front ones. You should also consult with the farrier to get the fitting-shaped hooves.
The horse is affected by the hammering noises.
The hammering process usually makes loud noises, which can frighten your horse. When the horse is scared, it might not easily let the farrier do their work and thus, makes the shoeing process delayed. Therefore, you should stay close to the horse during the process and soothe it; for instance, bring your horse’s favorite food to it to calm down the animal.
The horse is ridden too hard after shoeing.
After being shoed, the horse needs at least one or two days to get used to the new shoes. Thus, you should not ride the horse so hard on such days to ensure everything will be ok.
How Often Do Horses Need New Shoes?
As you can see, shoes are necessary for horses that go through hard surfaces. Being without shoes or with unfit shoes can also cause problems for your horses. Horses’ feet usually develop continuously, so you need to pay attention to replacing your horse’s shoes to ensure that your horse wears the correct size. The normal time for re-shoeing a horse falls between four and six weeks. You should have regular appointments with the farrier to make sure that your horse can be equipped with new shoes in time.
How Much Are Good Horseshoes?
Horseshoes and farrier rates can be different between states and states, regions and regions. Depending on your specific situation (location, equestrian level, and relationship with the farrier), the price can be from $30-$80 for a trim and $80-$200 for four good shoes. You can refer to the table below for several statistics regarding the price of horseshoes and trim. Discover our latest guide about horse riding boots.
|Maryland near Baltimore||$120 for front shoes $180 for four new shoes||$50|
|Southeast VA||$90 for front shoes $120 for four new shoes||$35|
|West Texas||$80 for four new shoes||$40|
|Fairfield county, CT||$160 front shoes||$80|
|Northeastern PA||$80 for front shoes$150 for four new shoes.||$25|
|Northern Utah||$135 for four new shoes||$55|
New Balance Horseshoes
They are called natural balance horseshoes, which help the horses to break over more easily than conventional shoes by bringing back the break-over point. They lessen pressure on the horse’s toe, are quite light, and take a little less time to put them on. With its patented design, natural balance horseshoes provide stability and protection for the horses, also help them to improve their performance. As long as the brand’s guidelines are followed during the preparation and placement, the function and health of the horses’ feet will be improved.
Frequently Asked Questions
In this part, you will find frequently asked questions and relevant answers regarding horseshoes, horse hooves, and the shoeing process.
Can horses feel their hooves?
No, they cannot. As the horse’s hooves are made of dead tissue, like our fingernails, and there are no nerves or vessels on the hoof wall. We will feel no sensation when we are cutting or doing something to our nails. The same to horses when their hooves are being trimmed.
Are horseshoes bad for horses?
No, they are not. Horseshoes will help to protect the hooves, prevent them from being injured and wearing abnormally. They help the horses to perform their activities better, and the owners can worry less about their horse’s hooves upon being exposed to hard flooring.
What happens if a horse doesn’t wear horseshoes?
They are called barefoot horses. They can still work on the farm or walk in the trail, but not further activities as another one with horseshoes equipped. It means that a horse without horseshoes will have some limitations on its work.
Why do wild horses not need shoes?
Because wild horses move and run a lot and for long distances, during such a running process, their hooves wear down. Furthermore, the roads of wild horses are different from the domestic horses’. They are not built from concrete or similar materials; thus, the impact on the horses’ hooves is different as well.
Why do wild horses not need their hooves trimmed?
As the wild horses move all day and the hooves wear down; thus, they do not need to be trimmed. Besides, the wild horses find their food themselves, while domestic horses are fed well with lots of nutrients and have their hooves developed beyond the natural wearing-down process.
What happens if horse hooves are not trimmed?
If a horse’s hooves are not trimmed or trimmed improperly, it can incur potential pain and even lameness. Also, it makes the horse look unappealing.
How often do horses need their hooves trimmed?
The horse’s hooves should be trimmed every six weeks in the summer and every six to twelve weeks in the winter.
Why do you have to clean a horse hoof?
Cleaning the horse’s hooves and picking debris from them regularly will help you to protect your horse from hoof problems (for example, bruises, corns, or abscesses). Thanks to the cleaning part, you can be aware of any problems happening to your horse’s feet soon. Thus, the cleaning part should be done on a day-by-day basis.